William Smith Enters Top 10 of Nike / US Lacrosse D-III Women's Top 20

PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM SMITH ATHLETICS


Conference championships impacted the Nike / US Lacrosse Division III Women’s Top 20 this week, but no one benefited more from a title run than William Smith.

After losing twice to Ithaca early in the season, previously unranked William Smith won the meeting that mattered most, claiming the Liberty League championship. The Herons, who have been in and out of the rankings, jumped to No. 10 with that win and are one of 13 conference champions in the top 20.

Other conference champions include Franklin & Marshall (Centennial Conference), Washington & Lee (Old Dominion Athletic Conference), Salisbury (Coast to Coast), Tufts (New England Small College Athletic Conference), Catholic (Landmark Conference), Denison (North Coast Athletic Conference Championship), Cortland (SUNYAC), Messiah (MAC Commonwealth), FDU-Florham (MAC Freedom), St. John Fischer (Empire 8), TCNJ (New Jersey Athletic Conference) and John Carroll (Ohio Athletic Conference).

There was only one other upset during conference championships among the ranked teams, though some of the results still caused movement. TCNJ, ranked No. 17 at the time, beat No. 14 Montclair State in the NJAC final and was rewarded with the better ranking this week.

John Carroll enters at No. 18 after its title, and FDU-Florham joins at No. 20 after going 16-0 en route to winning the MAC Freedom title.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division III Women’s Top 20

 
May 3, 2021

W/L

Prev

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1 Franklin & Marshall 7-0 1 5/9 vs. No. 10 William Smith/Meredith
2 Washington and Lee 13-0 2 5/9 vs. No. 20 FDU-Florham
3 Salisbury 15-0 3 5/9 vs. Morrisville State
4 Tufts 6-0 4 5/9 vs. Cabrini
5 Catholic 9-0 7 5/8 vs. Becker
6 Messiah 16-0 8 5/9 vs. Illinois Wesleyan/George Fox
7 Gettysburg 5-1 5 Season complete
8 Colby 4-1 9 Season complete
9 Denison 9-1 10 5/9 vs. St. Mary's (Ind.)
10 William Smith 8-4 NR 5/8 vs. Meredith
11 Ithaca 12-1 6 5/9 vs. Notre Dame (Md.)
12 SUNY Cortland 12-1 11 5/8 vs. Transylvania
13 St. John Fisher 14-1 12 5/8 vs. Cazenovia
14 TCNJ 7-2 17 5/9 vs. Babson
15 Brockport 10-3 13 Season complete
16 Montclair State 8-1 14 Season complete
17 York 12-3 16 Season complete
18 John Carroll 16-1 NR 5/9 vs. UW-River Falls
19 Geneseo 6-3 18 Season complete
20 FDU-Florham 16-0 NR 5/9 vs. No. 2 Washington & Lee
Also considered: Christopher Newport (11-7), Hamilton (3-2), Mary Washington (5-6), Meredith (11-3), Roanoke (9-4), St. Mary's (7-5), Wesleyan (3-3)






Nike/US Lacrosse Rankings
Division I Men | Division I Women
Division II Men | Division II Women
Division III Men | Division III Women

HOT

Franklin & Marshall (no change)

The Diplomats tightened their grip on the No. 1 spot by winning a matchup of unbeatens in the regular-season finale against Gettysburg to claim the Centennial Conference crown.

Franklin & Marshall squeaked out a 17-14 win in a tightly contested battle to earn its eighth Centennial title and first since 2017. The last 19 Centennial Conference titles have gone to either the Bullets or Diplomats, including seven straight championship matchups between them, and this one was close throughout with nine ties and neither team leading by more than two goals until late.

TCNJ (+3)

After losing to Montclair State by a goal April 3, TCNJ didn’t leave any room for doubt in the rematch.

Behind a career-high six goals from Anna Devlin and Jillian Westerby, the Lions beat the Red Hawks 16-6 to claim their seventh straight NJAC tournament championship and 10th straight NJAC title. TCNJ had opened the season ranked as high as No. 12 and now the Lions are right back near where they started.

NOT

Ithaca (-5)

Ithaca saw its 17-game win streak come to an end with a 17-13 loss to William Smith in the Liberty League championship.

While not a bad loss, it proved costly in the shakeup of the rankings. The Bombers have now lost three straight Liberty League championships at the hands of William Smith. This time, Ithaca fell behind 10-5 at halftime and couldn’t climb out of the hole.

Gettysburg (-2)

The Bullets’ loss to Franklin & Marshall cost them their perfect season and moved them down a couple spots in the top 20, as unbeatens Catholic and Messiah both jumped them with their title runs.

Gettysburg only got six games in and unfortunately didn’t get a second chance at the Diplomats in a conference tournament, as the Centennial Conference decided its champion only off the regular season standings.

Montclair State (-2)

The Red Hawks gave up six goals in the first nine minutes against TCNJ and never recovered, falling 16-6 in the NJAC final Saturday. That early deficit was the difference at halftime, and TCNJ went on a 7-1 run to open the second half and widen the gap even further.

Montclair had beaten the Lions earlier in the season by one goal and needed to prove it wasn’t a fluke against the traditional conference power.

IN

William Smith (No. 10)

The Herons came on strong at the end of the season and proved they belonged. They won six of their last seven to claim their fifth straight Liberty League title after opening with three losses in their first five games — including two against runner-up Ithaca.

They won the games that mattered most at the end, beating Union in the conference tournament semifinals and then holding off the Bombers 17-13 in the final Saturday. William Smith had a five-goal lead at halftime, and Ithaca got it down to two early in the second half before the Herons pulled away and never let it get any closer.

John Carroll (No. 18)

The Blue and Gold beat Mount Union 20-10 in the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament finale to claim the program’s first OAC tournament crown and first bid for the NCAA Division III tournament.

Their lone blip on their 16-1 record was a one-goal loss to Capital University after they had beaten Capital earlier in the season. Mount Union also had one conference loss entering the tournament.

FDU-Florham (No. 20) 

The Devils finished off their first unbeaten season, beating Stevens 15-14 in the MAC Freedom championship on Saturday. FDU is 16-0. Stevens had beaten No. 17 York in a surprise upset earlier this season.

Katie Walsh was named the tournament MVP, finishing with 13 points on 12 goals and one assist to go along with 25 draws, three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

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